Cisco Canada Blog

How Cisco Advanced Services help customers manage risk, accelerate time to market and maximize ROI

- May 4, 2012 3:35 pm

By James Sharp, Consulting Solutions Director, Cisco Canada

In order for any company to operate successfully, information systems and the network must work together to deliver services without disruption. However, figuring out which products are best suited to the environment and figuring out their implementation, is often a challenge that no business owner or IT manager has time to face.

Before deciding which technology products to invest in, businesses must go through a system delivery lifecycle process which includes six phases: prepare, plan, design, implement, operate and optimize.

But here’s something not many of our customers know about. At Cisco, we are able to add value across this entire planning lifecycle through our Advanced Services portfolio. Together with our partners, we can offer Canadian businesses the services they need, when they need them.

Whether it’s taking advantage of our professional consulting services, or warranties and break-fix options, or our remote managed services offering, we help customers better mitigate their operational risks, accelerate their time to market and achieve maximum ROI on their infrastructures, regardless of whichever lifecycle phase they are in. Customers are always telling me they strive to achieve all three of these things. And with our services, I tell them we can deliver.

So what is the System Delivery Lifecycle, and how can we help? I’ve outlined the steps below.


In this phase, we help an organization to determine its vision, requirements and what technologies are needed in order to create and maintain business agility and competitive advantage.


At this stage, we assess and provide recommendations on whether or not a company has sufficient resources to manage a specific technology deployment from the start of the project to the finish.


Here, we work with the customer to develop a design that aligns with a business’ goals and its technical requirements. A successful design not only increases the likelihood of achieving better network performance and results, but it can also help speed up implementation.


This is the stage where we help integrate new products into a customer’s existing infrastructure — all without compromising network availability or its performance.


This is when we can proactively monitor the health of the network to ensure its enhanced performance. Proactive monitoring is critical to ensuring a business avoids interruption and downtime.  


Optimization is an ongoing effort that requires continual assessments of a business’ infrastructure to achieve more improved performance and functionality.

As a company continues to adapt to its changing needs the lifecycle begins anew. What gets me really excited is that we can help a customer who’s just starting to evaluate products, or we can help those who are knee-deep in the implementation phase. Our customers know that Cisco is here to help at every stage.

Customers often ask us why they should use Cisco Advanced Services. My answer is simple — our expertise, innovation, consistency, choices and value set us apart. As the manufacturer of this equipment, we understand the technology and how it works inside and out. We also adhere to a set of best practices for how we deliver our professional services so customers receive the same level of consistency and excellence no matter their size, technology solution or location.

To learn more about Cisco Advanced Services, join me at Cisco Plus Canada on May 16 in my session on Data Center Transformation with Jim Robshaw. Registration is still open but space is limited. I look forward to seeing you there.

In his role as Consulting Solutions Director for Cisco Canada, James Sharp specializes in leading large scale Global operational and technology initiatives primarily in the financial services industry. James was previously with International Data Corporation (IDC), and has more than 10 years of internal financial services operations experience, holding key roles within network, server, and application operations.

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